It had been 24 months since Melbourne Fashion Festival was cut short mid-program thanks to the rising Covid numbers on our shores. Two years since the last time local fashion heavyweights gathered together – sans masks – to witness the new collections from treasured local designers. And despite 2021’s sometimes-online, sometimes-IRL program, this year felt like a resurgence to the glitz that is Australia’s largest consumer-facing fashion event.
On the runway, designers made statements with colour, cut and fabric. But off the runway, as the well-dressed darted over Flinders Street, we spotted new and welcomed approaches to dressing post-pandemic. These are the trends that commanded our attention.
Coined “dopamine dressing” – the 2022 trend involves dressing with the intention of boosting your mood. Seen on and off the runway: contrasting colours, clashing prints and Euphoria-inspired make-up looks with diamantes and sequins taking pride of place. Labels such as Blanca, Anna Quan, LMND and Bec & Bridge were all on theme. The more-is-more approach a joyful example of contrast from the subdued trends that dominated during the work-from-home era.
Luxe and loungy silk sets
The luxe loungewear of pandemic life can’t be entirely shaken, though. Satin and silkwear sets continue to rule the runway in 2022. Comfort is still key; the lightweight sets providing a laissez-faire ease to dressing. This relaxed look by local designer Alemais was a standout. And the beauty of these two-pieces is that they can be swapped in and out with existing items in your wardrobe, providing an endless combination of fits for autumn and winter.
Spotted on the likes of Billie Eilish and Rihanna, opera gloves have become a notable trend in 2022. But the love for gloves isn’t new, dating back to Hollywood's golden era. In Melbourne, street style and runway shows were flooded with a mix of evening and wrist-length gloves in silks, fishnets and leather. Romance Was Born sported this trend best, though, with statement elbow-length gloves that stole the closing-runway show.